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Celtic 0-3 Real Madrid: Match Review



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With four wins in as many league games, Real Madrid’s season was off to the perfect start ahead of the Champions League opener.

Los Blancos were pitted against Celtic in their first game of the new competition, with the game scheduled to take place in Glasgow.

Postecoglou’s side were one of the most in-form sides in Europe ahead of the midweek game. They won their last match by a margin of four goals and scored a whopping 13 goals in their last two games. Moreover, they were unbeaten across all competitions for close to five months.

On the night, Ancelotti made two changes to the side that started against Real Betis. Federico Valverde replaced Rodrygo Goes on the right wing, while Toni Kroos came in for Eduardo Camavinga.

Celtic have been known for their attacking aptitude this season and did not hold back when given a chance against the Champions of Europe. In the very first minute, Giakoumakis worked the ball to Abada whose shot was painfully close to goal.

The pressure on Real Madrid’s goal intensified in the next 20 minutes with the hosts putting in a spectacular shift. Abada was once again at the centre of action in the 13th minute when he missed the chance to bury Jota’s cross.

One of the biggest chances in the first half came in minute 21. The move began with Giakoumakis finding McGregor at the edge of the area with a well-worked pass. The midfielder struck the ball firmly, but could only rattle the woodwork.

Problems for Real Madrid compounded at the half-hour mark when Karim Benzema was forced off the field through injury. The Frenchman could not continue after sustaining a blow on his knee and Eden Hazard took his place.

It was only in the latter part of the second half that Real Madrid took charge of the game. Eden Hazard had a chance in the 41st minute and Vinicius Jr failed to score a 1v1 just minutes later. As half-time neared, the momentum slowly but surely shifted.

Antonio Rudiger replaced Eder Militao for the second half. The new period began in a similar fashion for Real Madrid as they immediately fell under pressure, giving Maeda an opening to score. However, the forward’s shot was tame.

Los Blancos found some rhythm by the 50-minute mark and a goal was not too far away. As the clock struck 56, Vinicius Jr completed a lethal counter-attack to give Real Madrid the lead. The goal was only made possible because of Federico Valverde’s blistering run and a perfect pass at the feet of the Brazilian sensation who did not miss.

Less than five minutes later, their lead doubled. After receiving a loose ball in the box, the club legend cut back to create space for himself. With the goal at his mercy, he calmly fired it into the back of the net with the outside of his boot.

The final nail in the coffin for Celtic, it seems, was Eden Hazard’s goal in minute 77. Toni Kroos began the attack with a precise aerial pass to Daniel Carvajal. The full-back cushioned the ball and put it across the face of the goal for Hazard to tap in.

The 15 minutes that followed saw Celtic push for a consolation goal, but Los Blancos’ compact lines and organised defence handled the situation.

With this win, the men in white get their UCL campaign off to a perfect start despite not putting up their best performance. They next take on Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu at the weekend.

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Three talking points from Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid kicked off their UEFA Champions League campaign on Wednesday night with a narrow 1-0 win over Union Berlin.

The victory was deserved from the point of view of domination of play. Real Madrid were the only team attacking for large parts of the night and created chances to no end.

Yet, one must tip the hat to the visitors’ resilient defence. Playing the first UEFA Champions League clash in the club’s history is difficult enough, let alone at the Santiago Bernabeu. Union Berlin did so and with some style.

Until the 93rd minute, a draw appeared to be the most probable result. The visitors refused to cave into Real Madrid’s relentless attacks and poured their hearts out on the field.

In the end, however, Carlo Ancelotti’s men did what they do best. A last-minute winner from Jude Bellingham gave the hosts all three points.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points from Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin.

The power of Real Madrid

Real Madrid are one of the few teams in the world that can never be written off. Such is the ability of the team, more so under Carlo Ancelotti, that they can pull off a win even after a howler.

Their unfair advantage, in part, owes itself to the ridiculous individual quality they possess on the field. Any player is capable of turning the game around with a moment of magic.

Yet, the most important factor that works in their favour is the mental resilience in the squad. Real Madrid never believe it is over until it really is, and Wednesday night’s game provided further reassurance as to why they are the mentality monsters.

For 90 minutes, the visitors frustrated Real Madrid to the limit. They stuck to their defensive lines with discipline and did not give Los Blancos much to work with.

Yet, Real Madrid’s perseverance was visible through the ordeal. The intensity of their attacks amplified with every passing minute and showed no signs of tapering down.

Poetically, they found the winning goal in the final minute of added time when all doors seemed closed, with Jude Bellingham being the hero yet again.

Forwards need to step up

Rodrygo, Joselu need to step up. (Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)

The men in white had 75% of the possession on Wednesday night at Santiago Bernabeu and kept making the required penetrative attacks. 

In 90 minutes, the hosts racked up an xG tally of 3.80. Yet, shockingly, they were goalless even in the penultimate minute of the game.

Real Madrid took 32 shots against Union Berlin as opposed to the opposition’s four. Seven shots were on target while 10 were blocked. 

In terms of big chances, the me in white churned up five in the 90 minutes of which they missed four. They also struck the woodwork twice last night.

The team’s struggles in the final third place the spotlight on Rodrygo Goes and Joselu, who were the team’s two forwards at Santiago Bernabeu. Both players suffered disappointing nights in front of goal and just could not catch a break from their poor luck.

The Spaniard had three shots on target, five off it, and three attempts blocked against Union Berlin. All of it, however, was in vain. 

The Brazilian was not much better with three shots and one blocked chance. Nevertheless, their poor results were not for a lack of trying if that is any silver lining.

Far from convincing 

Real Madrid’s mentality and fortitude to push for a win is indeed a reason to be optimistic. However, that does not hide the fact that the men in white struggled and toiled on to no end.

The Champions League has no minnows, but one would expect Real Madrid to show their dominance at some point in the game and close the deal. However, that spell of play never arrived.

Los Blancos may be on a six-game winning streak so far this season, but there is reason to believe that a factor of luck has been essential for most of their scalps.

All eyes will thus be on Ancelotti now. The manager has a world-class roster at his disposal, and it will now be up to him to enhance Real Madrid’s performance in the final third. After all, putting away chances is as important as creating them.

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